Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Out with the old and in with the new

So here we are, on the verge of having to learn to write 2015 instead of 2014. In my job, I book our study participants in a month or two in advance, and during November and December I kept booking them in our calendar in January and February 2014. Fail! Hopefully, when I go back to work in a few days I will get it right.

I don't believe in making New Years resolutions anymore. They tend to fail anyhow. But I will make a New Years wish. The same wish I made last year, which didn't quite come true. I'm wishing for smooth sailing and no big changes. We would love a year of keeping our jobs, being healthy, working in our garden and doing some crafting. I hope it's not a bad omen that I am greeting 2015 while having caught yet another cold. 

As so many others, I will look back on 2014 by picking my favourite card and showing the most viewed card of the month. Ok, so without further ado, 2014 in cards. Clicking the card will take you to that blog post. I hope you all have a wonderful 2015 with lots of good things on the way, and please pop by here from time to time!!

January (most viewed is also my favourite), it was a birthday card for a friend:
February (again most viewed is also my favourite), this was my Valentine's card for my sister:
March, the time tag that got a shoutout at Simon Says Stamp is one of my most viewed posts ever:
Most viewed.
My favourite.
April was not my best month...
Most viewed.
My favourite.
My favourite.
June, I think June might have been my best "card month", with several cards I liked which is rather unusual
Most viewed.
My favourite.
July, I cannot understand why the most viewed card had so many views as I think it's quite ugly, but hey ho, I'm not complaining: 
Most viewed.
My favourite. This was a guest DT assignment for the
Snarky Sisters, and it reads "You are awesome and
wonderful" when you open it completely.
August, the month of my most viewed card on the whole blog:
This is my most viewed card ever. It was
a Mojo Monday winner (random draw).
My favourite, I really love the woodgrain white embossing.
Most viewed.
My favourite. Fussy cutting those flowers will possibly
remain the most annoying thing I have ever done.
October. In October I posted a card every single day of the month, something I doubt will ever happen again:
Most viewed.
My favourite. I'm a huge fan of Lawn Fawn.
Most viewed.
My favourite. This was a get well soon
card for my Mum after her surgery.
December. Although I was planning to finish most of my Christmas cards in good time, December was rather Christmas-card heavy:
Most viewed.
My favourite.
I'm really looking forward to another year of cardmaking, and hopefully next year's lineup will be more impressive than this one. I will link up this post at Mynn's linky party and Debby's favourites.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New Year's cards

We got a few Christmas cards from our neighbours while we were away over Christmas. In my great wisdom I hadn't even considered getting our neighbours Christmas cards, so I felt rather guilty. Therefore I devised a cunning plan - I would make them a Happy New Year card instead!

I was inspired by the colour challenge over at Retro Rubber challenges. I have to admit that the stamp set I used for the card is not very old, but it's the only "Happy New Year" sentiment I have, so needs must and all that. However to slightly compensate, both the stencil and die are much older. 

I used a Tim Holtz star die and three blue distress inks for the background. Then I stamped the sentiment in the same three shades of blue. Last, I die cut the numbers in silver cardstock. This was the perfect card design, as I quickly made the three cards I needed. 

I'm entering the card in the following challenges:
Retro Rubber - blue, silver and white
In{k}spire Me - Happy New Year
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
ShowCASe Your Style - Use a die cut 
Just Inspirational Challenges - New Year
STAMPlorations December Challenge - Designer's Pick (I chose July Stamps & Glitter)

Card: Leonardo Cardstock 300 gsm white card, Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer Paper, Coloured 240 gsm card Navy, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card
Stamps: Stampin' Up Good Greetings
Ink: Tim Holtz distress inks Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans
Other: Tim Holtz Stars Layering Stencil, Tim Holtz Inside Out Alphabet die

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Chalk talk card

Today is the end of my wonderful Christmas holiday in Finland. We have had such a great time, seeing so many of my friends and family. It has been quite an exceptional holiday to be honest, as I usually don't get a chance to see so much people but this time I feel like I have really caught up with so many. Unfortunately, circumstances conspired against some meetings with life events and winter colds intervening, but there will be other times and other happy meetings. I have seen so many old colleagues and celebrated their successes and so many friends with so much to catch up on. I have seen baby bellies and new apartments. This will keep me going when I head home to my somewhat lonelier existence in the UK. We will hopefully be back in the summer for a stint at the summerhouse, and next winter for a skiing holiday in northern Finland.

This card has just been forgotten in my drafts folder, I made it quite a while ago. There is no exciting story behind it. I was browsing through my hoarded crafting papers and really liked the colour combo on this Stampin' Up Designer Sheet Paper. I stamped the Chalk Talk "A little something for a very special someone" stamp in Daffodil delight on white cardstock, and stamped it again in Pool Party and fussycut the "something" banner. Quick and easy, a card that can be used for many occasions.

I'm entering my card over at Sweet Stampin' ChallengesCrafty Sentiments and Inspiration Destination where Anything Goes.

Colours: Stampin' Up Pool Party and Daffodil Delight
Crafting paper: Stampin' Up Designer Sheet Paper International Bazaar
Cardstock: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Kraft card, Hobbycraft white 160 gsm cardstock
Stamps: Stampin Up' Chalk Talk
Embossing folder: Stampin' Up Vintage Wallpaper
Other: doily ordered online, ribbon from the stash, Docraft Papermania adhesive gem

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Exciting News!!!

Today I am showing you my fourth One Sheet Wonder for the Viva La Verve December Challenge. But before that, I have some really exciting news. I am so very excited to join the amazingly talented group of ladies over at the Crafts Galore Encore Challenge design team!!! What's so special about the Crafts Galore Encore challenge is that they embrace all sorts of crafts, not just cards so it will be a great opportunity to maybe get back into some other crafts besides card making again. There are two other very talented ladies who are joining with me in January 2015, so head over to the Crafts Galore Encore page to have a look. You also have a few more days to enter the December Crafts Galore Encore Challenge. The theme is the all-inclusive Anything Goes, so please come and play along with the current challenge if you are doing any sort of crafting in the days between Christmas and New Year. And of course there is a great prize for the winner, 3 digis from Beccy's Place which has the most adorable selection of digis. I'm thrilled to join the DT, and my first creation will be for the January challenge, so stay tuned.

Then on to today's card. It's the last of the four One Sheet Wonders for Viva La Verve. You can find the others here, here and here. I'm also entering That's Crafty Challenges where Anything Goes this week. 

Card: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake
Stamps: Stampin' Up Ornament Keepsakes and matching dies, KaiserCraft Merry Christmas stamp
Ink: Tsukineko Versamark, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo
Paper: Stampin' Up All is Calm DSP
Other: Stampin' Up Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, All Occasions Snowflakes dies, Stampin' Up Basic pearls

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Greeting card set in a box

Although it's still Christmas time, I thought it would be nice to move on to some non-Christmas crafting now.

I have made a few of these card sets already, but I enjoy making a set of cards, challenging myself to make them all different but still keeping the same feel across all cards in the set. My other sets are here and here with the instructions for making the box. I added another level to the challenge by using a DSP I really had no idea what to do with. I just couldn't get any grasp of this pattern, and I'm still debating with myself whether I like these cards and the colours or not. I also stamped inside the cards, and stamped matching envelopes. At least the whole set is now tucked in the box, away from sight and waiting for some poor unsuspecting victim.

I'm entering my card set in the following challenges:
Miriam's Crafting Blog - Handmade gifts

C.R.A.F.T Challenge - Anything Goes

Creative knockouts - Anything Goes

Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes

Card: Leonardo Stationery 350 and 300 gsm white card, Coloured 240 gsm kraft card in Chocolate Brown and Navy
Paper: Stampin' Up International Bazaar
Inks: Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango, Pacific Point, Pear Pizzazz
Stamps: Stampin' Up Madison Avenue, Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler
Other: Stampin' Up Banner Punch, Scalloped tag topper punch, Decorative label punch, Vine Street embossing folder, blue gingham ribbon from my stash


Viva La Verve One Sheet Wonder 3

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful break, enjoying good company, good food, or whatever else it is you choose to do over the holidays. I was spoiled with too many presents, despite the "no presents" policy, which no-one can abide by, year after year. I got a beautiful silver horse necklace and some dishcloths with piggies on. They are adorable!!! I am stuffed full of good food and will soon move on from my Mum's place to spend a few days with Dad and his side of the family. Then I will meet up with a big bunch of old friends right before we head back home. It has been wonderful to see all my old friends and my family, but I can't wait to get home to my craft room. Two weeks without crafting is very hard. I bet I will not leave my craft room for at least 24 hours when we get home. 
This is what it looks like here right now
(well, about 10 minutes ago)
Today I'm showing you my third Viva La Verve December One Sheet Wonder Challenge. You can see my previous cards here and here. I really love the colour combo of brown, kraft and shades of turquoise. I know I have said it before, and I will say it again and again, but Tim Holtz Vintage Photo is the most amazing brown colour ever. The man is simply a genius. I'm also entering the following challenges in addition to Viva La Verve:
Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge Blog - #208 Anything Goes
Creative Moments - #58 Anything Goes, non-traditional Christmas Colours
Fresh Brewed Designs - Anything Goes Christmas 

I stamped the sentiment inside the card.

Card: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake
Stamps: Stampin' Up Ornament Keepsakes and matching dies, KaiserCraft Merry Christmas stamp
Ink: Tsukineko Versamark, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo
Paper: Stampin' Up All is Calm DSP
Other: Stampin' Up Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, All Occasions Snowflakes dies, Stampin' Up Basic pearls

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

White Christmas Tags

Today is Christmas here in Finland (we celebrate on the evening of the 24th). Today we will eat our traditional Christmas rice porridge for brunch. It's an age old tradition to put an almond in the porridge, and the one who gets the almond can make a wish for the year to come. Then it's time to relax in the Christmas sauna, and then relax your way to the Christmas eve dinner. We always focus more on the starters, salmon and herring with roe. By the time main course is served we usually only have a tiny little bit as we are stuffed from the starters. And we don't even bother with dessert, apart from munching on the chocolate Santa always brings every year. 

Should you still have access to your crafting room on Christmas unlike me this year, you could put together these quick last minute gift tags in mere minutes. These match the White Christmas cards I made earlier. I used the Stampin' Up Scalloped Tag Topper punch to create the tags out of beige cardstock and stamped and heat embossed the images in white. To finish, I added gold baker's twine. Super quick and simple for those last minute presents.

I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing time over the holidays and that you have loads of delicious food to enjoy with your loved ones.

I'm entering the tags in the following challenges:
Loves Rubberstamps Challenge - Anything Goes 
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Pick any previous challenge (I picked two or four legs, although I'm not sure the snowman fits in either of them...)
The Cutie Pie Challenge - Lots of cuteness on anything but a card
Vintage Stamping Challenge - A Christmas Song (I'm dreaming of a white Christmas)
Cardstock: Coloured 240 gsm card beige
Stamps: Stampin' Up White Christmas
Ink: Tsukineko Versamark
Other: Stampin' Up Scalloped Tag Topper punch, Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder, gold baker's twine

Monday, 22 December 2014

Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Caroling Bunnies

Our extra-long Christmas "Anything Goes" challenge is halfway through over at Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge. It's time for some mid-challenge inspiration to help you get those last few Christmas cards, tags or other crafty creations finished. If you need help to get going, hop over to the Holly Jolly page for plenty of inspiration from the talented DT. As usual there are great prizes to be won as well.

I used the cute Caroling Bunnies digi stamp from Eureka Stamps, one of our sponsors. I coloured the image using Copics. I die cut the image using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card die, and inked the edges with Vintage Photo ink. The background is embossed using the Spellbinders Music embossing folder and inked with Vintage Photo. The sentiment is from the Lawn Fawn Joy to the Woods stamp set, I stamped it in Early Espresso ink and dusted with Perfect Pearls. The snow flake is a die cut that I inked with Versamark and dusted with the same Perfect Pearls as the sentiment. I added some gold twine for a final touch. 

I would like to enter the following challenges:
The Glory of Christmas - Anything Goes
The Winter Wonderland Challenge - Fussy and Fancy
Stamp and Create challenge - Anything Goes Christmas
Addicted to Stamps - Anything Goes Christmas

Pile It On - Anything Goes Christmas/Holiday
Ladybug Crafts - It's Cold Outside
Natalie and Amy Challenge - Cute and Cuddly
The Friday Mashup - Sketch
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Name that tune (Deck the Halls "Sing we joyous all together")
A Gem of a Challenge - Anything Goes Christmas

Card: Coloured 240 gsm kraft card beige and chocolate, Hobbykraft 160 gsm white card
Stamp: Eureka Stamps digi Caroling Bunnies, Lawn Fawn Joy to the Woods
Colouring: Copics E09, E29, E34, E39, R02, R20, YR00
Ink: Tim Holtz Vintage Photo, Tsukineko Versamark, Stampin' Up Early Espresso
Other: Spellbinders embossing folder Music, Lawn Fawn Stitched Journaling Card die, All Occasion dies Snowflakes, Perfect Pearls Perfect Bronze, gold bakers twine

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Reindeer cards

Not many days left to display my remaining Christmas crafty projects! I'm rather behind with my blogging as I have been so busy enjoying my Christmas holiday and seeing friends and family. Yesterday I came back "home" to my Mum's after celebrating one of my best friend's PhD. In Finland it's a great big celebration with a formal three course sit down dinner in evening gowns and tailcoats for the people who have been involved in the work of the PhD candidate followed by a great big all night party for all colleagues and friends. He was the last of our "old group" of colleagues to get his PhD and it was so bittersweet to see all my old colleagues for what is most likely the last time, all together having fun. But I also realised I am starting to get a bit too old to party all night as I felt like hell unleashed when I woke up at 10:30 am after about four hours of sleep, and had to get ready to check out of our hotel room. To balance it all out, I slept 12 hours last night.

But on to the reason we are here today. The theme for our Secret Santa at work this year was "Something home made". I decided to make a little Christmas first aid kit. A home made gift bag, some gift tags and Christmas cards. All with cute reindeer images from Bugaboo. 

The first part of my gift kit was published as part of my DT assignment for Holly Jolly recently, you can find them here. So in addition to the gift bag and tags, I wanted to make a few cards with envelopes. I used the same reindeer image that I used for the gift bag, coloured it with Copics and matted on alternating white and red card. I kept the cards very simple, just added a little touch of glitter and a few snowflakes for embellishment. 

I stamped the sentiment inside the card along with a few sprigs of holly. I made two envelopes to match the cards as they were a bit smaller than regular cards, so the regular envelopes I usually use would have been too big. I think together they made a nice little kit for Christmas gift giving and greeting needs.

I also made another card with the same reindeer digi stamp with a Swedish sentiment (not for the Secret Santa gift, but as I'm running out of days to publish my remaining Christmas cards, I thought it would fit in here as it's the same image).

I'm entering the following challenges:
Card and Scrap - Christmas or New Year
Connie Can Crop - Inspired by a Carol (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Goes as long as it's Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - December
Sparkles Monthly Challenge Blog - Anything Goes
A Crafty Mess - Traditional Christmas colours
Chocolate, Coffee and Cards - Christmas
Bugaboo Catch the Bug - Christmas Bingo (Bugaboo image, snowflakes, bling)
Completely Christmas - Add your own twist (my choice is reindeer, not only on my card but that's what we are having for dinner today as well!!)
Digitally Sweet - Anything goes with a twist - snowflakes

Card: Stampin' Up Real Red, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, silver cardstock from my stash, Leonardo Stationery 300 gsm card, coloured kraft card 240 gsm chocolate
Stamps: Bugaboo digi stamp Reindeer Christmas Goodies, Papermania 12 days of Christmas Word Banners, Lawn Fawn Joy to the Woods
Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red, Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black
Colouring: C1, E34, E39, R24, R43, R46, RV34, YG11, YG13, YG17, Y11, Y13, Y15
Paper: Dovecraft Merry Magic 8x8 Designer Paper Pack
Other: Ranger Ice Stickles, All Occasions Snowflake dies

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas gift bag

I love the Stampin' Up kraft gift bags, such an easy way to quickly and prettily wrap a present by just adding some embellishments. For this bag I used the Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflake die on copper coloured cardstock for the snowflakes. I also stamped some images and made a little tag. Finally I inked a doily with some red distress ink. Quick and easy, but it looks quite elaborate. Also, the gift bags are perfect for wrapping stuff that is slightly oddly shaped and would be difficult to wrap neatly using wrapping paper. 

I'm submitting my little bag to the following challenges:
Not Just Cards - Anything Goes
Inky Chicks - Winter Wonderland
Deep Ocean Challenge Blog - Christmas is All Around
Clear it Out Challenge - Anything Goes
613 Avenue Create - Anything goes with optional twist Gift packaging

Card: Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card, Stampin' Up Crumb cake
Stamps: Stampin' Up Chalk Talk, Tag It and White Christmas
Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Tangerine Tango and Real Red, Tim Holtz distress ink Festive Berries
Other: Doily from my stash, Stampin' Up Chevron Tag a Bag Gift Bags, Scalloped Tag Topper Punch, Chalk Talk dies, Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflake dies

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Glittery snowflakes

This is an easy and quick Christmas card for those last minute cards you need to make in a hurry. I love the Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflake dies, they are so pretty. I'm a bit fussy when it comes to snowflakes, I only like them a certain way and these certainly are the way I like! 

I die cut the snowflakes, inked them with Versamark and heat embossed with glitter embossing powder. For the background, I stamped the small snowflakes from Critters in the Arctic in Versamark and heat embossed using clear powder. I inked the background with Distress inks. After attaching the the snowflakes I stamped the sentiment and finished by adding some stickles to the snowflakes.

The card was inspired by the STAMPlorations sketch challenge. I'm also entering the card in the STAMPlorations December challenge, which involves picking any previous challenge. I picked the August challenge which is Stamps & Die cuts. I'm also entering the card over at Die Cuttin' Divas - Inspired by a Christmas Carol (Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflake die, song "Winter Wonderland" Sleigh bells ring are you listening, in the lane, SNOW is glistening and so on and so forth), at Incy Wincy Designs where the theme is Christmas Anything Goes, at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where Anything Goes and at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where the the theme is Winter Inspiration with a lovely inspiration board.

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Inspiration Board.

Card: Leonardo Stationery 300 gsm card, Hobbycraft 160 gsm white card
Stamps: Lawn Fawn Critters in the Arctic
Ink: Tsukineko VersaMark, Stampin' Up Basic Grey, Tim Holtz Broken China, Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick
Other: Papermania holographic embossing powder, Ranger Ice Stickles Glitter Glue, Lawn Fawn Stitched Snowflakes dies